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Build A New House Or Buy An Existing One? Use Your Head And Your Heart

I am living in living in the fourth house I have purchased during my 23 years of home ownership. To some that may seem like a lot of houses, to others it may seem like I’ve just started. The simple fact is we Americans move a lot… 11 or 12 times in a lifetime depending on whom you consult. Chances are you are going to purchase a house during quite a few of those moves and somewhere along the line you may have the opportunity to build a new home.

Should you?

Everyone has fantasized at some point about his or her dream house. You may want closets big enough to live in; a bathroom that doubles as a spa; a kitchen in which you could produce programs for the Food Network But, as in most fantasies, there is usually some epic journey required to achieve the goal. And building your dream house follows that plot line all too closely.

But isn’t it the dream that makes the quest worthwhile? Yes, if you can weather the storms and battles along the way. And the determination to keep moving forward is usually a function of a strong will and a big heart. But it helps to use your head before you set off on your personal version of “The Lord of the Rings.”

It is likely that you have options when you begin the process of buying a home. There may be existing homes in the area that are affordable and that meet your needs. But there are always things about any property or house that don’t exactly meet with your approval. The basement may not be finished or the yard may be too small or the interior décor may have to be entirely redone. It is virtually impossible to buy an existing home without making compromises.

Building new allows you to imagine, design and build the home that accommodates needs and amenities that are important to you… within a budget of course. And that is one thing that must be considered. A new home will be more expensive, on a cost per foot basis, than an existing one. That is due to the cost of land, the price of building materials and labor expense. You might also find that taxes are high as a new area is developed and the municipal authorities factor in the required infrastructure for a growing population and the need for services like education, law enforcement and recreation. You may find yourself subsidizing some of these costs as an area develops.

The ongoing costs associated with an existing house are more predictable. However, there will likely be more maintenance expense than for a new house and energy costs tend to be higher with older properties because newer homes are more energy efficient.

Commuting costs may be an issue. Developers must go further and further out to find enough land to accommodate a new subdivision. That may mean higher costs for commuting to work and to access other businesses and venues that may be closer to the nearest major population center. You should consider this from both a monetary perspective and to determine if you are comfortable with an additional investment of time.

If your new house is built in a subdivision there may be ongoing fees required. In addition, there may be covenants that are designed to protect property values that may apply serious restrictions on your ability to enhance your home and/or your property down the road.

A new home needs new landscaping. This may be included in the price of the home but there will likely be a limit to what is covered under the agreement. To landscape the property in a way that is truly satisfying may require an additional outlay.

Beware of construction delays! Building contractors are notorious for setting deadlines they miss and making promises they can’t keep. Make sure you do some thorough research about the builder and his track record before you commit. Weather is always unpredictable and may have an effect but that should be factored in from the start.

A new subdivision can be a hornet’s nest of building activity. If you move into your home early in the process be prepared for hammering, sawing, trucks, mud and general chaos for quite a while as the subdivision progresses. This is a lifestyle issue and is a temporary inconvenience. But some have found this level of activity disconcerting and disruptive especially when they are settling into their “dream home” and trying to savor the experience.

If you build new be prepared to stay for a while. With new construction all around you it would be difficult to compete with the rest of the properties available for others who want to build a house from the ground up. You would have to make it worth their while and that usually means a compromise in price.

All this being said (and trust me there is more that could be said) there is nothing quite as satisfying as showcasing the house to family and friends that you designed and built and that reflects your unique vision and personality. If you survive the journey, you will likely have turned your fantasy into reality.

Consider Alcudia and Pollenca for Your Dream Mallorca Property

There are many popular towns and villages around the island in which to buy Mallorca property. Many of them have a very individual appeal and so finding the best area to meet your exact requirements shouldn’t be too difficult – whether you want mountains, beach front or golf clubs you will find a Mallorca property perfect for you!

Alcudia is one such town which offers a little bit of everything. Situated in the north of the island, the Old Town is surrounded by the city walls which date back to the 13th century and much of this part is pedestrianised so you can enjoy a stroll around and relax in the many café’s and restaurants. From the port you can take a boat trip around parts of the island or catch a ferry to Menorca or even Barcelona.

Outside of the city you can enjoy the S’Albufera Natural Park, an important wetland; journey up into the nearby mountains, or visit ancient Roman ruins, whilst the beach at Alcudia is an impressive 6 miles long.

Although in the north of the island, Alcudia is still very accessible. The journey time from the airport is just 35 minutes which makes this a great town to buy a Mallorca property in. Golfers who like a challenge will be in their element as the golf course at Alcudia is rated ‘difficult’ and is very beautiful.

Like much of the island, Mallorca property in Alcudia doesn’t come cheap. A large penthouse apartment in the town will set you back in the region of €400,000 whilst houses are even more. In Port de Alcudia you’ll find a larger range of properties. This is a more touristy part and hence there are many more lower-end apartments available. You could buy a studio, for example, which would be perfect for holiday getaways, for less than €100,000.

Also in the north of the island, you’ll find the pretty town of Pollenca at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain chain. This is a traditional town which has an excellent market on Saturdays. If you’re looking for a more traditional Mallorca property this is a good town to consider. Just over 3 miles away is the excellent beach of Port de Pollenca. This is quieter than many of the popular beaches on the island although there are package holidays coming here, so it’s not completely empty!

Much of the older Mallorca property for sale in Pollenca is in the style of townhouses. Depending on condition and size you can expect to pay upwards of €400,000. A more modern 3 bedroom apartment will cost in excess of €250,000.

In Port de Pollenca you can get more for your money – a 2 bedroom apartment for under €200,000 for example, plus there is generally more property on the market here. There are also some very exclusive properties here too – seafront apartments, fincas and luxury villas for those with more to spend!

Buy Investment Property Without Seeing It

Why would you buy investment property without seeing it? It’s a numbers game. Whether or not you see the property before you make an offer isn’t nearly as important as making sure the numbers make sense.

A man in California used to just send out offers on a hundred MLS listings at a time, offering 25% less than the asking price on each one. Occasionally a few sellers would accept his offers. He never had to look at the homes beforehand. Including an “inspection and approval” clause in the offer meant he could always back out of the deal later when he saw the house. Meanwhile, he efficiently found the truly motivated sellers.

This true story demonstrates that with a good clause or two in the contract, you don’t have to worry about making an offer before you see a property. It’s true when you buy investment property or your next home. When it isn’t everything the seller says it is, you can reject the deal with little or no loss. So why wouldn’t you want to look at the property?

Buy Investment Property By Numbers

The main reason you might skip looking at a property before making an offer is time. This is certainly true if the property is far away. If you don’t get a price that makes sense, why spend your time traveling to look at real estate investments? A price and terms that make sense – this is what is important. Of course you’ll probably want to look at the actual property eventually, but looking at the numbers is how you invest.

Investors value income property according to current cash flow (or should if they want safe and viable investments), so start by verifying income. Get the actual income figures for the past 12 months. Always consider the potential income if rents are raised, vending machines are added, etc., but base your offer on the current income.

Verify all expenses with investment properties. If any expenses listed by the seller seem unusually low, they most likely are. Just substitute your own best guess in place of any suspicious numbers.

After you determine the net operating income, apply the appropriate capitalization rate to arrive at the value. If you’re not sure how to do this, get help. However, you really should understand the principle of how to figure a cap rate. This is a numbers game you’re playing.
Calculate loan payments (talk to your banker), and see how much cash flow you’ll have. Then you can figure your cash-on-cash return based on how much of your own money you put into the deal. Just divide the cash flow by your investment.

When the numbers work, you can safely make an offer. Inspections will tell you if there are problems that will affect the cash flow. You can always renegotiate if there are such problems (assuming you made your approval of all inspections a contingency of the offer). Of course, you can even go take a look now that you are truly ready to buy that investment property.

Red Manhood Protection From Cold Weather

Now that cold weather is blowing through, winter is definitely here. While even warm weather aficionados can find some things about the cold they like (hot chocolate, roaring fires, an excuse to stay inside and binge watch), it’s equally true that even cold weather fans can find drawbacks. And for men, that includes getting a red manhood from freezing temperatures and bitter icy winds. Finding ways to keep the member sufficiently warm during these winter months is part of good male organ care.

Red manhood

Now, there’s usually nothing wrong with a red manhood. Men who are fair-skinned tend to get a red manhood when it becomes firm, as the blood rushing into the engorged member causes a change in coloration. But sometimes a red manhood can signal a problem, such as being far too cold.

Anyone who has ever jumped into a pool of cold water has witnessed a cold red manhood � and one that is usually shriveled. But when the male organ is exposed to extreme cold temperatures for a prolonged time, it may actually get a little swollen and can experience extreme pain.

In some severe cases, a red manhood may be an indication of frostbite (or frostnip, an early stage condition of frostbite). Frostbite is accompanied by a numbness (lack of feeling or deadened feeling), swelling, blistering and fever, although not all men may experience all of these symptoms. If a man suspects he has a frostbitten member or other body part, he should seek medical attention. Severe frostbite can destroy tissue and in extreme cases may lead to amputation.

Keeping warm

To help fight that winter cold, there are several ways to keep the manhood warm during the winter.

�Don’t go commando. First and foremost, men who habitually walk around without underwear should suspend that habit when venturing out into winter weather. The cold weather can be too dangerous to male organ health, no matter how nice the feeling of freedom may be.

�Stand in front of a fire. Spending a few minutes in front of a fireplace can help warm up a member so it withstands the cold better during its first minutes outside.

�Give the member a rub. Similarly, taking a couple of minutes to rub and massage the manhood before tackling the cold can be beneficial. This will get the blood circulating and help deflect the initial cold.

�Tuck it in. If he is only going to be outside for a few minutes, a guy can try tucking his manhood between his legs for extra warmth. However, since it will pop out relatively quickly, this is a very short term solution.

�Layer up. Doubling up on underwear is strongly advised. Just as a guy may wear a shirt, sweater and coat to combat the cold, so should he consider wearing more than one pair of underwear. The bottom layer should be tight briefs, an athletic supporter or compression shorts, each of which will fit the male organ more snugly.

�Go thermal. It can also help to wear thermal underwear, which may add an extra layer of warmth to the region.

�Investigate wind briefs. Many runners wear wind briefs, specially designed underwear with an extra layer of protection in the midsection.

�Wear a member warmer. A man can invest in an actual knitted member warmer � or simply wear a (clean) sock over the organ when temperatures get frosty.

Taking steps to prevent a red manhood due to cold weather pays off. So does taking steps to ensure overall male organ health, such as regularly applying a top drawer male organ health crme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). For best results, a guy should select a crme that is going to �cover all the bases� by including the major vitamins necessary for member health promotion � A, B5, C, D and E. In addition, the crme should include L-arginine, an amino acid which helps manhood blood vessels expand so they can accommodate a greater flow of blood.